I know it can be boring and overwhelming at times, but employment law is what underpins employment agreements and should therefore be a key element of any sort of job training. Some of the most common questions I heard as an employability educator were around employment law and thankfully my experience and education allowed me to speak comfortably about them. Some of the common questions I heard were:
How much will I earn in my chosen career/job?
Are employment trials legal?
What are the laws about probation?
What do I do if I need help with an issue at work that my manager and I can’t resolve?
Unfortunately, many of these questions came from job-seekers that had personally (or through a friend) experienced an issue where the employer did the wrong thing. More often than not, taking advantage of their situation or capitalising on benefits available to them for hiring.
Aside from common questions that job-seekers raise, employment law changes constantly and there are many new issues that are prevalent in the labour force today. When looking at employment law, educators should be well-aware of the key sources of information:
Fair Work Ombudsmen – The ‘go-to’ for information about employment including employee/employer rights, wages and laws.
Fair Work Act 2009 – This piece of legislation provides a framework for employment relations. It aims to set-out fairness for all parties involved.
Human Rights Commission – This is an independent organisation that advises on all issues pertaining to discrimination.
Worksafe Australia – Anything concerning workplace health and safety, this is the place to go. Be mindful of each states WHS bodies too.
NOTE: This isn’t an exhaustive list, but should provide a good foundation for employees and employers to understand more about employment agreements.
2022 presents a few unique legal challenges for job seekers. The pandemic has shaken up the way we do things, especially work. We are also in a country that is also going through reforms in sexual harassment and discrimination. This all has legal implications for the next batch of job-seekers. This means that educators that are talking to job-seekers need to be aware of contemporary employment law topics to provide their students with the right information.
Job Skills has created a basic overview of employment law for educators to have handy to help answer some of those important questions from job seekers.
This guide is fairly simple but has summarised a LOT of information. I have provided as many links as possible to read further. It doesn’t hurt to learn something new, especially when it’s to do with the law.